US Forest Firefighters traveling along Interstate 15 spotted a vegetation fire along the northbound side of the freeway just north of the Kenwood exit shortly after 1pm on Monday. The fire did force closure of Interstate 15 in both directions for a brief period and a closure of several northbound lanes into the evening, and the far right lane on the northbound side was re-opened at 1pm on Tuesday.
The US Forest Service dispatched a full wildland fire response which included fire engines, fire crews, helicopters and airtankers. Firefighters from San Bernardino County Fire, Cal Fire and surrounding agencies, sent firefighters to assist, while the California Highway Patrol, San Bernardino County Sheriff's, and Caltrans handled the highway closure.
The fire burnt in a northeast direction along the freeway eventually catching a power pole on fire, which surged and started a small 3-4 acre fire along Old Cajon Blvd, south of the Cleghorn exit. (Firefighters quickly knocked down this fire)
The fire spread rapidly up a drainage towards the Mathews Ranch, located east of Interstate 15, destroying one home, two shipping containers and three small outbuildings. Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from damaging the two remaining homes and numerous outbuildings at the ranch. The two residents' home at the time chose not to evacuate.
During the height of the battle, over 600 firefighters consisting of fire engines, hand crews, dozers, and water tenders fought the fire on the ground and were supported by six helicopters and six airtankers.
Two US Forest Service firefighters were injured, one suffered a knee injury and another firefighter suffered a heat related injury, both transported to a local hospital. One of the residents at Matthews Ranch became ill during the fire, and firefighters transported the resident to a local hospital as a precautionary measure.
Fire officials contained the fire today at 6:00p.m and gps mapped the final acreage today, increasing the acreage to 375.
Fire investigators are continuing their efforts to determine what started the fire.
|Date of Origin||Monday August 22nd, 2011 approx. 01:03 PM|
|Location||Northbound I-15 at Kenwood|
|Estimated Containment Date||Wednesday August 24th, 2011 approx. 06:00 PM|
Chaparral, timber around the Matthews Ranch (former Christmas tree farm)
Fire Burned to the north in Pittman Canyon near Cajon Mountain.
Structures were threatened at Matthews Ranch east of I-15 near Kenwood exit. The two residents sheltered in place, and during the initial stages of the fire, 1 home, 2 storage containers and 3 outbuildings (sheds) were destroyed at Matthews Ranch.
Firefighters are working to achieve full containment and mop up hot spots within the fire perimeter.
The terrain in and around the fire area is steep and extremely rocky.
On Monday, 6 airtankers, 6 helicopters, 18 engines, 14 handcrews,2 dozers and 7 water tenders were assigned to the fire. On Tuesday, 2 airtankers, 4 helicopters, 13 engines, 5 crews and 5 water tenders are assigned to the incident 2 minor injuries to firefighters (knee & heat related). Wednesday resources have been reduced to 10 engines, 6 hotshot crews, 3 water tenders, 1 fire dozer and 1 helicopter.
|Wind Conditions||5 mph N|